October 6, 2013
With the October 1 deadline behind us, it seems the word has spread about the new health care reform as many people are already flocking to the exchanges on-line to shop around or purchase the health coverage.
Now, employees who previously did not have health care coverage will be able to purchase the coverage on-line from one of the exchanges. There are several plans to choose from and it will take careful examination in order to choose a plan which is right for the employee. This would include a choice in the amount of co-payments and deductibles to be applied to the medical services.
Many of the services for medical care will include a deductible or co-payment, with the exception of some services for women. These services include preventive services such as, mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, prenatal care, diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, and heart disease, and other services which pertain to the care of women. In these cases, co-payments and deductibles would not apply.
Additionally, women will not be charged higher rates than men for health care. To accommodate the people who will be visiting community health care centers, there will be an increase of $11 billion for funding of these centers.
September 21, 2013
We are in the midst of transitioning to a new Health Care Reform where employees are going to have to choose a health care provider, if they currently do not have one. As with any new procedure, there are going to be new decisions that have to be made about their health care.
By October 1, employers are now responsible for education their current employees about their health care choices and the availability of health coverage on the exchanges, if the employer opts not to provide health benefits to the employees. Then they must post legal notices on the premises for new employees.
The employees must then visit the exchanges on-line and shop around for an insurance plan. Each state has their own website. For most employees this task could be overwhelming, as there are sixteen different plans available in the state of Rhode Island. Some will not understand the different insurance terms and some may not have the patience to shop for coverage themselves.
The state has a staff available to answer questions and the site is very user friendly. Employees have three months to choose a plan which would be effective on January 1, 2013. Employees are expected to choose a lower priced plan with high deductibles and co-payments, rather than a plan with a low deductible and co-payments.
This may put a strain on the budge when utilizing the services. However, there are other plans available outside of the exchanges, at affordable prices, which would enable the employees to pay most if not all of their medical bills.
For anyone who wants more of an explanation on the details of the health care reform and the responsibilities of the employees and the employers, there will be workshop sponsored by the Chambers of Commerce and other organizations. For a complete schedule of the locations, go to the Health Source RI website.